What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis – it can be hard to say, and even harder to live with. But there is hope!
So what exactly is Plantar Fasciitis? Simply put, it is inflammation of the thick band of tissue (called a fascia) at the bottom of your foot that runs from your heel to your toes. Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by sharp pain in your heel, often worse in the morning or after prolonged sitting. When tension or weight becomes too great on the fascia, small tears can result. With repeated flexing or stretching, the fascia becomes inflamed or irritated.
There are certain risk factors associated with this condition. The Mayo Clinic lists the following factors as having higher risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis:
- Age. Plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Certain types of exercise. Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue — such as long-distance running, ballistic jumping activities, ballet dancing and aerobic dance — can contribute to an earlier onset of plantar fasciitis.
- Foot mechanics. Being flat-footed, having a high arch or even having an abnormal pattern of walking can affect the way weight is distributed when you're standing and put added stress on the plantar fascia.
- Obesity. Excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
- Occupations that keep you on your feet. Factory workers, teachers and others who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces can damage their plantar fascia.
To reduce pain, there are several lifestyle and home remedies that may help.The Mayo Clinic offers these tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Lose weight if you're overweight or obese to minimize stress on your plantar fascia.
- Choose supportive shoes. Avoid high heels. Buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, good arch support and shock absorbency. Don't go barefoot, especially on hard surfaces.
- Don't wear worn-out athletic shoes. Replace your old athletic shoes before they stop supporting and cushioning your feet.
- Change your sport. Try a low-impact sport, such as swimming or bicycling, instead of walking or jogging.
- Apply ice. Hold a cloth-covered ice pack over the area of pain for 15 to 20 minutes three or four times a day or after activity. Or try ice massage. Freeze a water-filled paper cup and roll it over the site of discomfort for about five to seven minutes. Regular ice massage can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretch your arches. Simple home exercises can stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
If lifestyle remedies are not alleviating the discomfort, your doctor may recommend further treatment, such as: physical therapy, night splints, orthotics (either over-the-counter or custom), steroid injections, or even surgery. Most people recover with conservative treatments, including resting, icing the painful area and stretching, in several months.
Brown’s offers several products for relief of Plantar Fasciitis pain, found here
Stop by one of our store locations and speak to one of our knowledgeable Fit Pros or call customer service at 800-728-6247 to discuss your options and get on the road to recovery!
*Please note: Nothing in the content, products or services should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This site and its services do not constitute the practice of any medical, nursing or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs.
**Portions of the information in this post is derived from the Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354846